Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The end of summer is near, but we still have fairly hot daytime temperatures, here in the high desert. (103 degrees F right now.) At least the night temperatures have cooled down to the low 70's. That makes a huge difference, if I know I can get up early and have a pleasant walk with Mr. Pono. Most native flora are struggling to survive until cooler temperatures return once more. I have managed to discover a few native plants blooming, one of which is the Sacred Datura. I remember this plant from last year. It is also sometimes called Jimson weed or The Desert Thorn Apple. It has large white blossoms, and the growth of leaves beneath the flowers is an unexpected, deep green. To read more about this plant, you may consult wikipedia here.
An artist friend of mine, Lily Stockman, has entered the land of the great blog-o-sphere. I think her blog is delightful, and you may enjoy it too! She is a talented artist and writer. Lily lives here in Joshua Tree with her husband and two dogs. Please stop by her blog for a hello, and tell her I sent you! Thanks.
Here are two hot-off-the-easel paintings. I have called them Nocturnal 1 and 2, and they are oil on canvas, 14 x 14 x 1.5 inches. Forgive the poor photographs, as I quickly clicked them with the beloved point and shoot while they lay drying.
Recently, someone I respect and admire told me that although she liked my new work, she felt I was playing it a little safe. This is not the kind of comment I would necessarily listen to from just anyone. At first, I felt a little miffed. I am proud of my new work (well, most of it, anyway). After getting over my initial irritation, I realized the reason this comment had even left a dent in my mind was because she was right. Yes, I have curbed certain impulses in my painting. I have experienced so many painting "failures", that I have become more careful about my approach to painting, especially on the large canvases. I have become a self-censoring artist, allowing less and less of my original expressiveness to come through in my art. I am usually my own worst critic.
Therefore, my dear readers, I have decided to pull down some large, "failed" canvases, paint over them, and attack them with renewed zeal and courage. Even if I continue to produce more "safe" art during the process, I need to remind myself to let it all hang out, every now and again. I must take risks to push my art further. This is what it means to be a true, genuine artist. Risks will help me express myself more honestly and with less reservations. After all, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Right?